The Bailey’s Hotel, London, Kensington relaunched at the beginning of 2016 with a magnificent new look, reflecting its special status as one of the very first generation of purpose-built hotels in the capital.
The hotel first opened its doors in 1876 and the £7.5m refurbishment honours and revives this Victorian heritage. The interior draws inspiration from the personality of founder Sir James Bailey MP, as well as the abundant character of central Kensington.
The refurbishment programme has seen a complete redesign of all guest rooms, with new fittings and fixtures. Public spaces, including the reception and check-in desk, restaurant and bar all received a new look.
The new aesthetic was developed primarily by digging into the archives of the hotel where letters of praise for the hotel were discovered from the first wave of transatlantic travellers in the late 1800s.
With this in mind, design consultant ADS Design – working closely with the hotel’s senior management team – developed the townhouse concept to create an eclectic, yet wholly relevant design philosophy. Key emphasis was placed on working with UK-based suppliers to reinforce the quintessentially English architecture and original fittings.
From this came four design motifs that differentiate each floor. Iformally named Kensington, Kew, Henley and City Gent, they influence the colour palette, patterns, artwork and decorative details. While there are distinct differences floor by floor, the townhouse approach means some elements are consistent throughout; namely the high and buttoned headboard from contract upholsterer, ESL, and the joinery and carpets which remain constant in design and colourways.
Within the suites, hospitality and contract furniture specialist, Max International, supplied striking upholstered furniture, including its Nancy sofa and chair, Charlotte sofa and Isotta chair designs.
The guest bathrooms have been completely refurbished, with many hosting large walk-in showers. While the design is modern, it harks back to the origins of the building with Victorian details, motifs and fittings from luxury Mayfair manufacturer of taps, showers and bathroom, Perrin & Rowe.
The public spaces, meanwhile, have also been given a radically different look. A traditional style parquet floor has been laid in the reception, adorned with hand-tufted rugs. The colour palette features grey tones with rich dark blue as an accent colour, complementing the richly-toned wallpapers.
The front of the reception is leather clad with a button-back effect, mirroring the headboards within the bedrooms.
The hotel’s 64-cover Italian restaurant, Olives, has been given a relaxing, refined ambiance. Warm shades of grey and blue feature throughout, with striking period artwork gracing the walls. A plus mix of loose and fixed seating have been supplied by Bourne Furniture and ESL.
This warm feel extends into Olives Bar, where an assortment of tables and chairs in greys and blues have been assembled.
Humorous reminders of the hotel’s founder, Sir James Bailey MP, are littered throughout the hotel. He appears in some way in every room, either a reproduction of a very characterful photograph which shows him with dress coat, waistcoat, Double Albert watch chain and with an impeccably groomed moustache and beard, or in a new image created of his silhouette, reflecting the line of his features, monocle and impressive facial hair.